A bit of Bo’ness country colour

Kinneil West Pond.
Kinneil West Pond.

Bright blue sky meant a bike ride not to be missed in November so I headed through Kinneil Woods on cycle route 76.

The west pond and its birds are especially attractive.

I was litter picking, enjoying the rustle of fallen leaves underfoot and took in the Nether Kinneil viewpoint over the refinery.

Nearing Birkhill there were stubble fields, plough and winter cereals well through. Crows were feeding on the stubbles and grey squirrels ran for the trees.

The Avon Gorge at Birkhill has one of the loveliest shows of autumn colours in the district.

The Woodland and Meadow walk includes a loop with seats and picnic tables.

The River Avon Heritage Trail is just as beautiful but a walk, not cycle friendly.

Falkirk Council’s excellent booklet “Discover the paths networks in and around Bo’ness and Blackness” covers the Kinneil and Birkhill paths.

I rode home past the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Bo’mains Meadow.

It has great plant diversity, reminiscent of Orkney, its glories now hidden until the spring.

The meadow had been cut and was being raked by volunteers. Traditional management delays cutting until seeds have fallen to the ground and grazing by SWT’s flock of Shetland sheep reduces coarse vegetation that would otherwise crowd out wild flowers.

Historic buildings and Roman remains combine to make this circuit show piece cycling, a litter picking priority.